Food Substitute

5 Best Chicken Fat Substitutes: What Can You Use To Replace Chicken Fat In Your Next Meals?

Chicken fat is not as popular as other kinds of cooking oil or animal fat, however, it is still a staple in many kitchens.

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But what recipes can use chicken fat and if you don’t have this ingredient on hand, what you can substitute for it? Let’s unravel these questions in this article.

What is chicken fat?

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Chicken fat is the pure fat that is taken from any fatty cut of chicken, normally found under the skin and around organ parts like kidneys or livers.

When being sold on the market, chicken fat is often rendered and forms a soft but solid texture that is called schmaltz.

Chicken fat, like other animal fats, has a higher smoke point than most conventional vegetable oils.

It is also proven to contain more healthy fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 compared to beef fat or pork fat.

Chicken fat is also favored because of its versatility in cooking.

It can be used in frying recipes, especially frying potatoes, or used as a cooking ingredient to add a richer taste to dishes like soups, stews, gravies, or baking pastries.

Can you substitute chicken fat in cooking recipes?

In case your recipe calls for chicken fat but you don’t have any, don’t worry, there are many substitute ingredients that can work great as a chicken fat alternative.

There might be some replacements that are more suitable in specific recipes than others.

Moreover, the quantity of the substitute might also differ from the amount of chicken fat that the recipe originally calls for.

Therefore, make sure that you know what you are doing to not mess things up.

What can you substitute for chicken fat?

So what ingredients can substitute for chicken fat? Check our following list to see the top five chicken fat alternatives that you can easily find on the market:

1. Duck fat

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Duck fat is the closest alternative to chicken fat.

Duck fat can work in any recipe that calls for chicken fat without adding any significant change in the flavor or texture of the dish.

You can buy a duck from a grocery store or butcher, trim the fat, and render it on your own.

Otherwise, look for rendered duck fat in your local stores for a more convenient option.

2. Pork fat

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Another substitute for chicken fat is pork fat.

Although pork fat has a little stronger taste and contains more saturated fats compared to the poultry version, it works great in many cooking recipes and is more available.

Rendered pork fat is called pork lard, so look for a jar or box that is labeled pork lard in your local grocery store or supermarket if you are going to bake something or to add flavor to your pot of gravy.

3. Beef fat

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Beef fat can be an option to substitute for chicken fat.

Pure beef fat is much harder than chicken fat, but when being rendered, it has the same texture and use.

Beef fat has a higher smoke point than cooking oil like vegetable oil, making it ideal for high-temperature recipes like baking or deep-frying.

4. Ghee

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Ghee, or known as clarified butter, is a staple in South Asian cuisines, such as Indian cuisine.

It is a dairy product that tastes richer and more buttery than regular butter.

Ghee is also considered a healthier option compared to butter and it is more suitable for people that have problems with conventional dairy products.

This ingredient can be used as cooking oil for baking and frying recipes, but it can also be used to massage or marinade ingredients before cooking.

5. Olive oil

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Olive oil is a healthy kind of cooking oil that is made from the olive plant.

It is native to Mediterranean cuisine, but more available throughout the world today.

Extra virgin olive oil is relatively expensive, so it is often used in small quantities to add to green or fruit salads rather than deep-frying recipes.

The bottom line

After reading this article, many of you might want to swap from your regular cooking oil to chicken fat to add a richer flavor to numerous dishes.

However, it is not always that you can find chicken fat available in your local butcher or grocery store, so it is essential to know its replacements.

Try all of the aforementioned chicken fat substitutes to figure out what works best in your kitchen to alternate this ingredient.

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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